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KDF soldiers marching during the June 1, 2018 Madaraka Day.

Fifth Estate

KDF’s 15 days of delivery

In the next fifteen days, beginning today, the Ministry of Defence, in line with its mandate to aid civil authorities, and in executing directives of government, will launch a number of projects that contribute to the National Development Agenda. These projects are undertakings by the Kenya Defence Forces alone, or in cooperation with other Ministries Departments and Agencies. There are also other initiatives between the KDF and the private sector and one between the KDF and academia.  Each of these projects has been delivered to the highest level of professionalism, demonstrating the competencies of the MOD in general and our Kenya Defence Forces in particular, and are proof of our fidelity to the constitutional obligation to contribute to the national aspirations of our motherland. 

On 21st May, today, H.E the President will preside over the launch of Kenya Defence Forces’ Operational Vehicles and Engineer Equipment at the Thika Barracks.  In the nature of our business, troops morale and resources play a key role in mission readiness and mission success. This project, therefore, is aimed at enhancing the state of troop readiness and agility through provision of mobility to our troops in and out of operational theatres. Apart from boosting the troops’ morale, this project will support them to achieve results, guarantee the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our nation and protect the citizens of the Republic of Kenya. Significantly, this project is undertaken with industries in the country in an effort to promote local industry through the buy Kenya policy.  The local vehicle assemblers and franchises namely Toyota (Kenya) Limited, Isuzu East Africa Limited, Mantrac (Kenya) Limited and PRD Rigs (Kenya) entered into a framework agreement with the Ministry of Defence for the acquisition and supply of assorted pickups, trucks, prime movers, water drilling rigs and a range of Engineer equipment. MOD is keen on local value addition and supports the Buy-Kenya-Build-Kenya initiative in order to enhance local manufacturing capacity and spur industrialization for self-reliance.  

On Monday, 24th May 2021, we roll off the full production at the Kenya Meat Commission. Over the last couple of months we have refurbished this strategic installation and set-up robust business process systems to cater for the needs of livestock farmers and the general public.  The ministerial responsibility for the KMC was transferred to the MOD on 07 September 2020.  From the beginning we knew that the KMC takeover and revamp was not your usual task.  We also knew from the start that there was no option of failure.  The strategic guidance to the MOD was to revamp operations and production with the objective of ensuring the Commission’s survival and profit.  All officers deployed for this task applied themselves around the clock, drawing on best practices in the industry beyond our borders, responding to the needs of the stakeholders including paying outstanding debts and effecting proactive components of income generation with the end in mind- Kenyans and livestock farmers.  I can now confirm that the facility is revamped, systems tested and ready to contribute to the national food security and to generate income for the exchequer.

On 27th May, we will receive, from HE President Uhuru Kenyatta, the much awaited Charter for the National Defence University. This is a significant addition to the growing ecosystem of centres of excellence in training and skills development at the strategic levels within the MOD.  Without a well-grounded human resource at the strategic policy level, any Government would not effectively pursue its desired development path, nor can national interests in today’s competitive world order be corrected framed, pursued and achieved. By the envisaged charter, the National Defence College which has been training select multi-agency strategic leaders is set for an upgrade to university status.  This will offer the unique opportunity to upgrade and support the pedagogical rigours of strategic education. No doubt, the NDU will stand us well in the family of lead training, research and analysis institutions dealing with defence, security and strategic matters.  

We then launch the 217 kilometre Nakuru-Kisumu railway. The full functioning of this rail road will provide seamless transportation from the Mombasa port to Kisumu.  If the example of the Thika-Nanyuki is anything to go by, both the railway and shipyard are set to spur economic activity through the facilitation of the movement of people, goods and services across Kenya and around the Lake Victoria region into Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC via Lake Victoria.

To spur the manufacturing pillar, the newest State Corporation under the Ministry of Defence; the Kenya Shipyards Limited is scheduled to be launched on 31 May 2021, two days’ shy of our Madaraka Day.  The Kisumu Shipyard to be launched, celebrations in Kisumu is meant to augment the metre gauge rail transport system.  Following the rehabilitation of the Nakuru-Kisumu the movement of goods and passengers beyond the port of Kisumu is best supported by water transport. It is relatively cost effective to reach Mfangano Island and Mbita point by via the Lake Victoria.  The construction, rehabilitation and expansion of this important lake transport facility has restored Kisumu port into a modern regional lake transport hub with an improved capability to handle large volumes of cargo from Kenya into the East African economic hub.

Regional East African Cooperation commerce is set for renewal by movement of ferries and other marine vessels plying Kisumu(Kenya)-Jinja(Uganda)-Musoma (Tanzania) ports. The Kenya Shipyards Limited is mandated to catalyse shipbuilding and unlock the blue economy in the Lake Victoria and Western Kenya. 

Each of these projects has been executed ahead of its estimated completion time, amidst a number of ongoing emergencies and challenges that are confronting our nation. Since last year, our nation has been confronted with the COVID 19 pandemic and its consequences that have disrupted our growth trajectory, floods, locusts and other unforeseen circumstances.  In spite of this, our officers, anchored on firm traditions that have taken root in this most distinguished institution, kept the work going.  From clear strategic guidance of the Commander in Chief, driven by clear rules and procedures, and powered by the predictability and stability brand that has come to epitomize the KDF, our ministry has remained steadfast in its delivery of all these and other ongoing projects. 

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There could not have been a better time to deliver on these critical projects than days to the commemoration of our self-rule – Madaraka day.  It reaffirms the centrality of determining our own destiny because no one else can and will.  The future of Kenya is squarely in our hands and we must arise to this historic mission. As an institution that is looked upon by Kenyans and Kenya, and in our usual character we have and will continue to put our best foot forward to deliver for country.

These fifteen days of delivery by MOD are a badge of honour for me, as the Cabinet Secretary responsible for a most significant and solemn mandate: the defence and protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our nation.  It is a badge I share this with my entire team of distinguished, patriotic men and women of valour who are, because Kenya is.  I therefore thank all the personnel at the MOD, both uniformed and civilian for their exemplary service within and outside our borders.  Your commitment and patriotic service to and for Kenyans, and humanity, continue to make significant positive impact, and to inspire us all.  

We are an institution that is looked upon by Kenyans and Kenya, and in our usual demeanor, have and continue to, put our best foot forward to deliver for country. The fifteen days of delivery by MOD embody our commitment to our mission and vision to serve and defend Kenya.

Amb. Dr. Monica Juma, (Oxon), EGH is the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Defence.

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